Polenta is the ingredient I always forget will provide the variety to a weeknight meal we all need. Rice takes forever. Pasta seems overdone. Polenta? Yeah polenta cooks in just a few minutes. I like it soupy to be spoon-able. I used pre-cooked turkey meatballs, zucchini and a really quick sauce. Poof! Dinner!
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup dried polenta
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded or chopped
1/2 cup milk
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the zucchini and tomato paste to cook for about 4 minutes.
Add in the meatballs, 1 cup of the broth, and salt & pepper. Bring to a low boil and cook for about 8 minutes until broth reduces a bit.
In a medium pot, add the polenta, butter, 1 cup of broth, 1 cup water and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and stir in the milk and cheese.
Spoon polenta in to the bowls, then top with meatballs, zucchini, and the sauce.
BBQ Chicken Pizza isn’t new or different BUT barbecue sauce in the tomato sauce woke this up! It was so flavorful with a sense of mystery. Where’s all that smokey sweetness coming from? Boom! I’ve made barbecue chicken pizza before but this new one is better!
2 chicken thighs
1 cup tomato sauce
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar
1/4 red onion
Preheat the oven (and pizza stone, if using one) to 400-degrees and grill the chicken.
Roll out the dough and stretch it onto the pizza stone (or pan sprayed with non-stick spray) and slice a few slits to prevent bubbles. Bake for 15-minutes until lightly browned.
Warm tomato sauce with most of the BBQ sauce, reserving about 3 tablespoons for the topping. Stir well.
Over medium heat, saute red onion for about 3 minutes to soften slightly but maintain a slight crunch.
Spoon the sauce onto the dough and top with shredded cheese.
Slice the chicken and add on top of the pizza with the onion.
Bake for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese and finish crisping the crust.
Swirl the remaining BBQ sauce over the top.
Slice and enjoy!
It is definitely a sweet one from the BBQ sauce but with a nice smokey flavor from the sauce and the grilled chicken. I especially like these flavors as prime grilling season sort of wraps up. Plus the leftovers are so good.
I know what you’re thinking. Whatttt? On pizza? Yes. Do it! So good! All the exclamation points!!
Mr. J and I watched The Revenant and afterwards I needed something calming to clear my eyeballs from the graphic voilence before attempting to sleep. Enter: Diner Drive Ins & Dives going to Phoenix, Arizona to Sal’s Gilbert Pizza for Chicken Marsala Pizza. Perfect night-cap.
4 chicken tenders
1/2 white onion (or 2 shallots)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup Marsala wine
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1-2 tablespoons fresh thyme
Preheat the oven (and pizza stone if using one) to 400-degrees.
In a large saute pan, cook the chicken over medium heat, sprinkled with salt & pepper. Flip and cook for about ~5 on each side until cooked through.
Meanwhile, dice the onion. Remove the chicken from the pan when cooked, and add the onion into the pan. Saute for about 5 minutes until getting translucent. Add the mushrooms.
Deglaze the pan with the wine and butter over a low simmer to thicken. Cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and while the sauce thickens a bit, chop the chicken into pieces and add it back into the pan.
Stretch the dough out and lay onto the pizza stone or pan. Cut a few slits into the dough. Bake for ~10 minutes until starting to brown and puff.
Grate the cheese and sprinkle onto the crust. Crack pepper over the top.
Spoon the sauce, chicken, mushroom, and onion mixture over the cheese.
Sprinkle with thyme. Bake for 5 minutes until the cheese melts and the crust crisps.
Slice and enjoy!
I really loved this one. I liked that the sauce was so rich but the crust was crisp and the cheese was gooey. It was such a delightful combo. The cheese really served to “waterproof” the dough from the sauce. I think it’d get to soggy if the sauce was under the cheese. I think there’d be a few ways to assemble the pizza but I was glad for the way I did it.
Tomatoes were sort of a bust this year…we had a culprit nabbing them and the latest ones aren’t getting ripe. Herbs on the other hand…are going like GANG-BUSTERS. I wanted to highlight a few so they became part of my marinade. We grilled the chicken and I served it over some pretty basic orzo…like butter/tomatoes/basil/salt & pepper. The babe loved both the “chick-ken” and was thrilled to have his own bowl of orzo. It kind of was all over him, but Orzo-man was worth it.
I kept the yogurt-ness going with a tzatiki-like sauce to go with it. I don’t have any dill and I wasn’t about to buy more fresh herbs right now so I improvised with mint & oregano. Yay for all. the. herbs. Let’s count ‘em: basil, oregano, mint, & lemon thyme.
6 oz plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Greek or Italian Dressing
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons each: oregano & thyme
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon each: mint & basil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic
1/4 cucumber, with the seeds removed, diced or shredded
1/2 pound of orzo
1 tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon butter
Mix together the 3/4 of the yogurt, milk, oregano, thyme, and add the chicken to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Mine marinated for ~2.5 hours.
Meanwhile, mix together the cucumber, yogurt, mint, oregano, lemon juice, and garlic. Then refrigerate until serving.
Grill the chicken until cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, boil water for the orzo and cook according to the package (probably 8-10 minutes).
Toss together the orzo, butter, tomato and once it cools a bit, add the basil.
Serve the chicken over a bed of orzo, topped with the cucumber yogurt sauce.
Theeeese a a few of my favorite things…
I found some frozen roasted chicken in the freezer and decided it would fare best if cooked and would be perfect in a calzone. Add my fav flavors, and thus, a meal is born. I used roasted chicken, crispy bacon, chopped tomato, alfredo sauce, ranch seasoning, and mozzarella. I felt like a rockstar to prep this 75% of the way the night before and just finish it before serving. Boo-yah.
2 cups roasted chicken
3 strips of bacon
1 1/2 cups mozzarella (mine was a mix of fresh & shredded)
3 tbs dried ranch seasoning
1 cup alfredo sauce
1 small tomato, diced
Preheat the oven & pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees.
Pan fry the bacon until crispy.
Warm the chicken in a medium pan over low heat and add 1 tablespoon of the ranch seasoning.
Lay the dough onto the pan or pizza stone, off center, for the filling to go on the bottom and for the rest to fold over.
Add chicken, tomatoes, cheese, alfredo, and ranch seasoning.
Then repeat the layers making sure to get the filling all the way to the ends & edges.
Fold the rest of the dough over the filling and pinch to close. Press down slightly to push the filling throughout the inside. Cut a few slits into the top to vent.
Bake 30 minutes until browned and crisped.
Serve and enjoy!
I knew we’d love this. What’s not to love? It was a perfect use for some leftover roasted chicken from the freezer (also the dough and bacon came from the freezer too). It was equally perfect that I prepped it the night before when I didn’t have to rush. I cooked it for about 20 minutes that night and just 15 minutes to serve. Dinner time is such a race against the clock and it was really nice to have this pretty ready. #winning
Pressure cooker success, again! Jump on board the pressure-cooker train, or really, just cook the chicken as you wish, this sauce was so good. I served it over polenta but rice, pasta, or couscous would be good too. Polenta cooks for about 5 minutes, so that’s definitely a selling point for that one.
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tbs minced garlic
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Marsala wine
2 tbs butter
1 cup instant polenta
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 grated Parmesan
~5 basil leaves
Roast the tomatoes in a 400-degree oven with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until they blister and pop.
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder on each side. Sear the chicken on both sides in the pressure cooker or in a skillet. Then either add to the pressure cooker with 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, high pressure for 10 minutes, or roast in the oven at 375-degrees for 30 minutes.
In a medium pot, bring 1 cup of the chicken broth to a boil. Add in garlic, Marsala wine, and butter and return to a boil for about 5 minutes.
Chop the zucchini and roasted tomatoes. Stir well and cook for another 5 minutes, covered. Then reduce heat until ready to serve.
For the polenta, add polenta to the water & milk and stir while cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add in Parmesan and stir well.
Serve with a base of polenta, then chicken, then veggie sauce and sprinkle with basil.
I was really happy with this dinner feeling a bit different, very flavorful, and pretty quick! Polenta is such a great break from pasta or grains. I love the parmesan in there for some salt and flavor. The sauce was soooo flavorful. I liked that the zucchini was lightly cooked. I used some leftover roasted tomatoes that I used, but roasting them would be easy while prepping everything else. I think the marsala cooking wine and broth really kept it from being like marinara.
I’m trying to work through some freezer items. Some frozen ground chicken was my next victim. Muhh-haha.
I decided to use it for meatballs and thought they’d be perfect being Chicken Parmesan Meatballs. I love homemade meatballs and don’t make them nearly enough. Part of my love is for the crisp bits, though I detest frying stuff so I make my life a little harder and bake them, turning them often but filling the house with scents of garlic/parmesan/meaty goodness. I almost wanted to partially bake them, then coat them in breadcrumbs, and fry them (do it!) but alas, I didn’t have the energy when it came down to meal-time.
I made these the night before and they were all ready to heat-and-serve after work.
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
3 tbs milk
3 tbs chopped garlic
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Stir the breadcrumbs and milk together.
Gently mix together the ground chicken, breadcrumb mixture, garlic, Parmesan, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper.
Roll into golf-ball sized meatballs.
Bake on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes then roll onto another side. Repeat again to bake a total of 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately, or cool on a cooling rack or paper towel.
Add into tomato sauce in an oven-friendly skillet or pot over medium low heat for about 20 minutes if the meatballs are cold or 10 minutes if they’ve just come out of the oven.
Cook some pasta to serve the meatballs over, or warm baguette rolls for subs!
When the meatballs are warmed, sprinkle some cheese over the top and return to the oven just to melt the cheese.
Serve and enjoy!
These are so flavorful and fluffy. There’s some serious garlic and salty Parmesan flavors in these. The babe loves meatballs – probably because he’s still growing teeth so they’re not too tough to munch. Sometimes I add some red wine into my meatballs but for these, I really wanted the Parmesan to be front and center.
In an effort not to have the same taco-night each week, I wanted something a little bit different but still quick & easy. This fit the bill perfectly! I used queso as the sauce on some taco-spiced chicken and served it over a bed of black beans. The chicken was very hands off – just seasoned and popped into the oven. I liked the black beans as the base to make this really filling, with a slight cruch to the peppers, spiced chicken, and smooth & cheesy topping.
6 chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
3 tbs taco seasoning
1 can black beans, rinsed
1/4 of a lime, squeezed for juice
1/2 bell pepper
1/2 cup queso blanco
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.
In a baking dish, sprayed with non-stick spray, lay out the chicken. Sprinkle with half the taco seasoning. Flip the chicken pieces over and sprinkle with the remaining taco seasoning.
Bake for 20-30 minutes.
In a medium sauce pan, warm the black beans over medium-low heat. Add a splash of water, squirt of lime juice, and a little lime zest.
Add the peppers to the black beans and stir well & often, cooking for about 5-10 minutes or until the peppers cook a bit.
Check that the chicken is cooked through. Then spoon queso over the top and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Spoon the beans onto a plate.
Place a piece of chicken on top.
I loved this. It had all the flavors and textures I wanted. I have nothing against tortillas and we LOVE taco-night here but this was a really great tweak on the usual. My little one tried black beans and he approved! Have you had queso blanco? It is perfect for this.
Today is my Sis’ bday! We’re celebrating with a Mexican fiesta! Ole!
Chicken Cordon Blue is the best of all the flavors. Chicken. Yum. Ham. Yum. Swiss. Yum. I put it together as a pasta dish and loved it. The ham with the swiss are such great flavors together.
I used breaded chicken cutlets I had made another time and froze. Then I used a sauce packet. Having these two elements pretty ready helped this come together quickly.
Chicken Cordon Blue Pasta (serves 3-4)
2 breaded chicken cutlets
8 oz rigatoni pasta
1-2 cups ham, diced
creamy garlic sauce
1 cup shredded swiss
Bring salted water to a boil.
Heat the chicken in the oven until warmed (or cooked through).
Cook the pasta until al dante.
Heat a skillet to medium heat and pan fry the ham until caramelized and golden on each side.
Warm the sauce through and add in the swiss over low heat. Stir well and keep warm.
Mix together the pasta with the sauce and the ham.
Slice the chicken and add it to the top.
I loved this! The swiss flavor can be strong so I went a little bit on the lighter side for that. I liked the chicken being crispy and on the top rather than mixed through. This was so fast to put together. I could have made the sauce from scratch but this was quick. I could have breaded and pan fried the chicken for this but it was a great use for some leftover.
Serving like this, you really only need a small amount of ham and a small amount of chicken. I made enough for a leftover serving for lunch the next day. Perfect!